Mayor Richard Molina released a statement regarding the recent changes made to the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation Board. The statement is as follows:
“Ladies and Gentlemen of Edinburg, I feel it is important to clear up misinformation being spread about a recent change at the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation.
At our city council meeting Tuesday night, the EDC board was dissolved. Three members who were added to the board back in November, no longer serve on the board. This action took place publicly so that you are aware of what is happening in your city government.
The mayor and City Council are the people you elected to represent you. That’s why we replaced the former EDC board members. We feel this is the best way to keep the interest of the city at the forefront and be held accountable as your representatives.
Now, let me explain why this had to be done.
The EDC is the jobs-creation arm of our City Council. The EDC leads efforts to bring new investments and new companies to Edinburg. We market the region to highlight the incredible talent here, and the quality of life that keeps those people here.
Unfortunately, the board under the previous mayor left the EDC in bad shape financially. On March 10th, the City Council and the EDC had an eight hour long joint meeting to review the EDC’s financial situation. The findings were discouraging.
Before the EDC board can invest any money, we have to make sure we pay what’s owed on the following projects:
The Ebony Hills Golf Course Project: $246,286
The Parks and Recreation Building Project: $485,844
The Santana Manufacturing Project: $381.896.75 (The EDC is not the first lien holder. That means if the project goes under, the EDC still has to cover the payments. The EDC’s reserve funds are being spent on this project.)
Two separate payments to LGFC Entertainment Center for the Bert Ogden Arena: $190,826.88 and $145,333.22.
All of that adds up $1,450,186.85 worth of payments per year. We have to make those payments before the EDC can spend money on anything else.
At the next EDC board meeting, we will have to complete our audit and amend the budget based on reserve funds that were spent incorrectly by the previous Mayor.
Once the audit is complete, we’ll have a better idea of how we can move forward. This will take time and patience, but it will happen. Our new Executive Director will get us back on track as the EDC goes through this reorganization.
I do thank the previous board members for the work and time they put in over the last few months. We know time away from your own businesses and families is a sacrifice. After the March 10th meeting, the previous EDC board members began to express their concerns about the time commitment to serving on the board. Many of the board members felt they simply could not fulfill their commitment to the EDC under these conditions. That is why we had to dissolve the board.
During my campaign for Mayor, I told you that the Mayor should not also serve as President of the EDC. I give you my word, I will never hold that seat. Councilmember Gilbert Enriquez remains the EDC President.
Our number one concern is that your tax dollars are being used honestly and legitimately for this city.
The EDC will continue to run with the utmost integrity and transparency.
For the video version of this statement, go to the City of Edinburg Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/CityOfEdinburgGovernment/videos/1050197098451888/